Foraging at the Cook & Pan Polish Deli & Cafe

Cook & Pan Polish Deli & Cafe
1527 Amelia St
Victoria, BC

Hours: 9 – 5 p.m.
Phone: (250) 385-5509

ES: The Cook & Pan is an out of the way Polish cafe. They were formerly located out by Cook Street proper but now they’re off Amelia Street. A social media post highlighting their delicious sausages was not the draw, but when I saw they’re offering a dill pickle soup, not only was my interest piqued but my mouth was already watering. No drool bucket was needed.

After a late morning film with Don at the Vic Theatre during the Victoria Film Festival, I asked if we should seek out brunch.

DK: Ed proposed and I said yes! To brunch! Put a bacon ring on my finger, Ed and rip that pierogi garter from my no-longer teasing ankle!

Speaking of love and desire: Ed’s lusting after dill pickle soup was matched by my limerent euphoria upon finding dessert pierogies in the Cook and Pan freezer (blueberry variety).

ES: Yes they have a deli and I need to make a point of keeping up with their social media posts to know what their soup of the day is. I get the feeling this place excels at this. Polish style or not, this comfort food warmed my heart when I tried it later and they were not hard to reheat. As for our meals, a sprinkle of dill would have certainly helped jazz up the meal, though to grow any herb in the blustery end of winter means having an indoor garden.

DK: Don’t look at the online menu before going to Cook & Pan. It is either obsolete, not presented at the table, or not available at all for Sunday brunch. Our meals were basic breakfast hash done well with good quality ingredients. I feel like the sausage was probably a better choice than the bacon.

ES: When going Polish, sampling what’s unique to this region is a must. I agree with Don. As tantalizing as the options are when web surfing, either looking at their online menu or tracking their updates on social media, I’d pay a careful eye on the latter. They use the best ingredients in their dishes, and the eggs were tops. It’s safe to assume they are free run, as no chickens have flown the coop.

As for mushrooms, that’s a difficult fungi to crack. I had their mushroom hash. It’s a very satisfying meal and It’s like how mama would make ’em. The presentation was very nice. When I see any restaurant say ‘wild’ mushrooms, I’m always hesitant to order. The price will show when it’s truly foraged from the woods. I’m willing to spend more for chanterelles and lobster. But to truly taste the variety of all the seasonal varieties means living to Europe. There, I can raise my own pet pigs to dig up as much truffles as I want.

DK: Don’t ask me what the more memorable parts of this meal were. Ed, let’s fold this blog and just do pet pig reviews!

ES: Mmmm, bacon. If there’s only one nitpick I’d have to make is that this place does thin slice over thick. I love thick and the crispier the better.

DK: The verdict: Cool looking place for events or sitting around with a tea and dessert on a weekend. Brunch though? Meh.

3½ Blokes out of 5


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